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Indy School Teachers Offered Thousands In Bonuses To Stay At Schools Closing Anyway

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Indianapolis teachers working at three high schools set to close after the 2017-2018 school year are being offered cash bonuses to stick it out through the end.

The Indianapolis Public School District (IPS) and the Indianapolis Education Association (IEA) have reached an agreement to give teachers a $5,000 bonus for staying through the closure of the three buildings.

ISP, combating shrinking enrollment, is closing three high schools: Arlington, Broad Ripple and Northwest. Two will be transformed into middle schools, while the third will be sold. The school board will vote in September on the official closing plan.

The plan is causing unrest among teachers, according to IEA president Rhondalyn Cornett. “Teachers are worried they won’t have a job next year,” Cornett told the Indianapolis Star. “So they’re going to start looking for jobs this year.”

The one-time bonus was announced to prevent understaffing at the three schools. Retention rates for teachers working for ISP are already the lowest in the state.

While the state average is 82 percent retention for educators, the ISP has a retention rate of 57 percent according to ABC 6 Indianapolis.

The specifics of the plan are; $5,000 for those who started their employment on or before the start of the 2016-17 school year. Teachers who started after the 2016-17 school year received $2,500.

“Reinvented high schools for the 2018-19 school year should not yield a compromised high school experience this current school year,” ISP superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “This retention incentive underscores how much we value our teachers and stability for our students and families.”

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